Note: New updated information has been added to this post concerning the potential candidacy of former U.S. Senator from Tennessee and actor, Fred Thompson.
The following is taken from the Republican National Coalition for Life's "Fax Notes". RNC for Life is the leading organization responsible for ensuring a pro-life Republican platform at the national level and is a valuable source for finding out who really is pro-life and who is just pandering with "cosmetically pro-life" speak.
(LOTP notes that because of Sam Brownback's position on illegal immigration amnesty, conservatives need to carefully consider whether or not he is worthy of support. In addition, the news of his being fickle on the human life amendment to the Constitution should give pro-lifers pause as well.)
2008 Presidential Candidates' Positions on Life Issues
SAM BROWNBACK Senator Brownback is the pro-life leader in the U.S. Senate. He has sponsored numerous pro-life bills including the Human Cloning Prohibition Act, the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, the Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act, and the Assisted Suicide Prevention Act. He has held hearings on life issues, among them the Impact of Abortion on Women. Senator Brownback is a sincere and dedicated champion of the right to life from conception.
JIM GILMORE A former Governor of Virginia, Jim Gilmore supports legal abortion until
the 13th week 8.57 weeks ("60 days") of gestation pregnancy (the first trimester), and in cases of rape or incest when necessary to save the life of the mother. He has
supported an informed consent law and a 24-hour waiting period for abortion.
NEWT GINGRICH His book, "Winning the Future: A 21st Century Contract with America" said virtually nothing about abortion. John Lofton, who interviewed Gingrich for American View asked, "Do you think abortion should be a crime?" Gingrich answered tepidly, "I think that abortion should not be legal, and I think that how you would implement that I'm not sure."
RUDOLPH GIULIANI "I'm pro-choice. I'm pro-gay rights," Giuliani said. He was then asked whether he supports a ban on what critics call partial-birth abortion. "No, I have not supported that, and I don't see my position on that changing," he responded. — CNN.com, "Inside Politics" Dec. 2, 1999. Now that he is running for president he says he would support it, but only if it has a life-of-the-mother exception, (Hannity & Colmes, 2/5/07) even though there is clear evidence that killing a baby during delivery by stabbing him in the back of the neck and sucking out his brains is never medically necessary.
In a 1989 conversation with Phil Donahue, Giuliani said he would "uphold a woman's right of choice," and "oppose going back to a day in which abortions were illegal." When Donahue asked what advice he would give his daughter if she became pregnant, he said . . . "if the ultimate choice of the woman — my daughter or any other woman — would be that in this particular circumstance she had to have an abortion, I'd support that. I'd give my daughter the money for it."
MIKE HUCKABEE The former Governor of Arkansas thinks abortion should be legal when the life of the woman is endangered. He would eliminate public funding for abortions and public funding of organizations that advocate or perform abortions. He supports "A Woman's Right to Know" legislation.
DUNCAN HUNTER Rep. Hunter is a committed pro-lifer and chief sponsor of the Right To Life Act (H.R. 618) to extend Fourteenth Amendment protection to the unborn child. He is now serving his 14th term as Congressman from the 52nd District of California.
In an interview with Human Events (12/4/06) Rep. Hunter was asked, "What would you do about abortion if you were President?" He responded, "I'd do everything I could to work toward doing everything we could to eliminate abortion." When asked, "What sort of people would you name to the United States Supreme Court?" he answered, "I would name people who have a sensitivity toward human life."
JOHN McCAIN Sen. McCain has voted to restrict or regulate the practice of abortion but, although he says Roe v. Wade should be overturned, he supports abortion in cases of rape and incest and has endorsed legislation that would expand federal funding for research that kills human embryos.
RON PAUL Rep. Paul was the Libertarian Party nominee in 1988. His libertarian views have conflicted with his pro-life stance on many occasions. From 2005 - 2006, Paul had just a 56 percent pro-life voting record as he voted four times against a federal law protecting teenagers from being taken to other states for secret abortions in violation of the parental notification or consent laws of their home state. In previous years, Mr. Paul had a 73 percent, 81 percent, and 79 percent voting record going back to 1999, according to the National Right to Life Committee. He doesn't think federal law should cover abortion issues. He opposes using taxpayer funding for both embryonic and non-embryonic stem cell research. (LIFENEWS.com)
MITT ROMNEY Mitt Romney ran against Ted Kennedy for the U.S. Senate in 1994 as a pro-choice candidate. As a candidate for Governor in 2002, he answered Planned Parenthood and NARAL questionnaires saying he supported "the substance of the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade" and, "I respect and will protect a woman's right to choose . . . Women should be free to choose based on their own beliefs, not mine and not the government's." (The Weekly Standard, 2/5/07) Now that he is running for President, Mr. Romney would like us to believe that, after 34 years of legal abortion in this country and an entire political career as an enthusiastic pro-choicer, he has just seen the light and is now "pro-life."
Romney supports killing human embryos left over from IVF treatments for research purposes as long as the parents give their consent.
TOM TANCREDO Although he is best known among conservatives for his leadership on immigration policy, Congressman Tancredo is solidly pro-life. NARAL gives him a 0% score on legislation related to life issues. (http://www.issues2000.org/House/Tom_Tancredo.htm) His website says this: "Throughout my public career I have always maintained a deeply held conviction that abortion compromises the sanctity of human life. Tragically, our nation has ignored our founding principle that all individuals have a right to life and in doing so has failed to protect the most vulnerable among us, unborn boys and girls. I do not support federal funds going to Planned Parenthood or any other organization that promotes abortion. I will continue to do everything in my power to protect the defenseless, and to end the practice of abortion." (http://tancredo.house.gov/issues)
FRED THOMPSON In a March 11th interview with Chris Wallace on FOX News, Sen. Thompson described himself as "pro-life" and said he thinks Roe v. Wade was bad law and bad medical science. "I don't think the court ought to wake up one day and make new social policy for the country. It's contrary to what it's been the past 200 years." (http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,258222,00.html)
We have not located information on Fred Thompson's views on life issues other than abortion. The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) voting record for the 105th, 106th and 107th congressional sessions shows that he voted pro-life on every bill to restrict or regulate the practice of abortion. He did not receive a 100% score from NRLC due to his consistent support for the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform Act.
Where Fred Thompson stands on respect and protection of the human embryo, embryonic stem cell research, or abortion in cases of rape or incest is unknown to us. When we locate that information, we will certainly report on it.
TOMMY THOMPSON The former Governor of Wisconsin and Secretary of Health and Human Services in the Bush administration, Tommy Thompson supports abortion in cases of rape and incest, and endorses embryonic stem cell research, while claiming to be "pro-life."
Update: LOTP received the below correction from the Jim Gilmore campaign. I have corrected what was false above and provided the notice below to show what was not reported. Details are important:
Good Morning Michelle,We hope you and your family are well. We wanted to request that you correct the following incorrect information posted on your Life of the Party blog:"JIM GILMORE A former Governor of Virginia, Jim Gilmore supports legal abortion until the 13th week of gestation (the first trimester), and in cases of rape or incest. He has supported an informed consent law and a 24-hour waiting period for abortion."Governor Gilmore's has a long history of protecting life. Governor Gilmore has always steadfastly opposed public funding of abortions and his leadership as Governor led to successful legislation which he signed into law that created a 24-hour waiting period for women seeking an abortion, required parental notification for minors seeking an abortion and banned partial birth abortion. Jim Gilmore created the Virginia Abstinence Initiative and dramatically increased funding for adoption services.Jim Gilmore signed into law legislation banning human cloning and went to court to try to prevent the removal of a feeding tube and save the life of coma victim Hugh Finn. The Governor's long held position is that abortions may be allowed during the first 60 days or pregnancy, but after 60 days he opposes ALL abortions except those which are necessary to save the life of the mother.
Thank you for what you do to protect the life of the unborn.
The Gilmore Campaign
Dear Gilmore Campaign,
I have corrected the information regarding Jim Gilmore's positions at your request and am cc'ing Colleen Parro of RNC for Life, who was my source. I know that RNC for Life is a trustworthy source for information on life issues and candidates' positions, and I'm quite certain that this was either an honest mistake on her part or somewhere along the line, either a source she quoted was wrong or positions have evolved. It's important that voters have accurate information on the candidates.
Nevertheless, I find that justifying abortion at any stage of life to be immoral and there are credible pro-life medical experts that say it is never necessary to perform an abortion to save the life of the mother. I hope Mr. Gilmore will reconsider his positions. We need leaders who will protect all innocent life.
I thank you for your kind letter.
Update: Upon further review, it appears the information came from Jack Yoest's blog, Reasoned Audacity, who according to his report, formerly worked for Governor Gillmore, serving as Assistant Secretary for Health and Human Services. The source was even linked in the RNC for Life report that was cited at above.